Kerri Einarson will leave her curling team — which lost the Canadian women’s final just 10 days ago — at the end of the 2017-18 curling season.
Selena Kaatz, who plays third on the East St. Paul crew, confirmed Einarson will part ways with the rest of the national Scotties runners-up after a couple of big-money bonspiels in the spring.
Einarson is "pursuing an opportunity," while Kaatz, second Liz Fyfe and lead Kristin MacCuish will stick together with another curler at the helm.
They’re keeping a lid on that critical tidbit of information for another week, Kaatz said, adding the team will participate in a pair of Grand Slam events in April with Einarson still tossing final stones.
Kaatz said the breakup has been coming for a while.
"We’ve been together for five years, so we were looking for a change. After the good run in the Scotties, we were really happy to have that, but we knew that the best thing for us was a change," she said.
"They were great years. We had a lot of great experiences. We got to fulfil a lot of our dreams, which was super-exciting and then there were a lot of hard times where we just didn’t get the outcome we were looking for."
It’s the third high-profile women’s team to go through a shakeup following the conclusion of the Olympic cycle.
Earlier this month, former two-time world junior champion Kelsey Rocque announced she was leaving her Edmonton women’s team. On Monday, Tracy Fleury’s Sudbury, Ont., team, which lost a playoff game at the Scotties, also said it is disbanding.
More moves are likely coming.
Michelle Englot, the 2017 Manitoba champion who participated as Team Canada in Penticton, B.C., at the recent national Scotties, has indicated she’s retiring.
There’s also chatter about personnel moves involving teams skipped by former Winnipeggers Chelsea Carey, now in Calgary, and Allison Flaxey, now playing out of Toronto, while Val Sweeting’s Edmonton team could undergo changes.
Carey, Sweeting and Flaxey all guided teams at the Roar of the Rings Olympic trials in December.
The Einarson team won the 2016 Manitoba championship to qualify for their first national Scotties.
They returned to the nationals two weeks ago as Team Wild-Card after surviving a one-game showdown against Carey on the eve of the Scotties to grab the 16th and final spot in Penticton.
The foursome suffered an 8-6 defeat to Jennifer Jones of St. Vital in the Canadian final Feb. 4.
"It was an emotional week, not knowing if we were staying for just a day or if we were staying 12 days. Just getting to the final was emotional in itself. That’s something you dream of as a little kid forever, and playing in that final and losing was quite upsetting," Kaatz said.
The difficult times also included losing to Jones in the 2015 provincial final and falling short of the playoffs last November at the Olympic pre-trials in Summerside, P.E.I., to miss out on the trials in Ottawa.
Assistant sports editor
Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).
Updated on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 7:10 AM CST: Edited